A Chance Happening Leads to Future Career
By Tiffany King
Brittany Hunter never imagined she would be pursuing her father's dream career—accounting. She credited her love of math to her father, but had not considered pursuing a degree in accounting until she started working as a student assistant in the College of Coastal Georgia's Business Office. She will graduate this December with a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting.
Hunter was born in New Jersey but moved frequently due to her father's military career. Her family moved from New Jersey to Spain, to Camden County at Kings Naval Base, to Texas, and back to Camden County, where she graduated from Camden County High School in 2008.
After graduating from high school, Hunter attended an art college in Atlanta to study interior design. Although she loved her major, she felt that the school wasn't the right fit. She wanted something more structured. Hunter moved back to the area with her daughter and now lives in Brunswick, the perfect spot between her parents' home in Camden and her in-laws' home in McIntosh County. She enrolled at the College of Coastal Georgia in 2015 because of its convenient location and because it is part of the University System of Georgia. One of the aspects of Coastal Georgia she's come to enjoy is the interaction between students and professors.
"To this day, I can walk past one of my professors and they still remember me. I like the smaller-campus atmosphere," Hunter said.
Who Would've Thought
Like many students, Hunter wanted an on-campus job and, after applying for different positions, she got a job as a student assistant in the College's Business Office, where she found her calling.
"When I started at the College I was undecided. I knew business was something I wanted to do but I was unsure about which concentration," Hunter said. "Then I ended up working in the Business Office as a student assistant with a bunch of accountants and I started to feel like I could do this for a living."
Hunter found it ironic that her father's dream coming out of the military was to be an accountant and now she's doing that herself. What she likes most about accounting is the detective work and having to piece things together like a puzzle. Her job involves keeping track of travel authorizations, making journal entries in the accounting system, helping to process W9 forms, handling invoices from vendors, gathering information for audits, and assisting with different projects within the department.
"Honestly, if I didn't get this job, I don't know what I would've chosen for a career," she said. "The curriculum and experience I've gained from being a student assistant in the Business Office go hand-in-hand and have made my experience at the College better."
One of her favorite moments at the College was being named the Student Employee of the Year at the College's 7th Annual Student Affairs Leadership Awards in April. Hunter was very surprised at winning the award and even more surprised at her nomination.
"The fact that they all agreed to nominate me was pretty great. It feels good to know that the people you work with feel like you're doing a good job, because sometimes you don't know. It was definitely a huge highlight for me," she said.
A Test Could Lie Ahead
With a career in accounting in her sights, Hunter is also considering becoming a certified public accountant. Becoming a CPA is a long process that involves four four-hour tests, approximately 1,000 hours of work under a CPA, and 30 hours of continuing education. Many accountants are not able to pass the test, but Hunter wants to give it a try.
"I feel like I should try it. I've made it this far and I owe it to myself to try. I'm not going to beat myself up over it if I don't pass it. My professors have said I'll learn everything I need for the test by the time I graduate," she said.
Hunter is considering working for a government or non-profit organization, such as a college. However, her ideal job would be at an airline, where she can enjoy the perks of travelling.
"Travelling is very important. Everyone should experience different cultures and realize there are other people out there in the world," Hunter said. "It's good that we [her family] didn't get too comfortable in one place. We were more adaptable to change, which I feel is important because things are always changing."
Hunter's advice to her fellow students is to get involved. Hunter is currently the vice president of the Student Accounting Society at the College. The organization works to bring all accounting and business students together. The club also offers simple tax services during tax season.
"We are really good at helping other students who have just started the accounting program. A lot of people in the club are tutors in the ATTIC [Academic Tutoring and Instruction Center]. The accounting program is small, so it's good to have us all come together and talk about the things we go through," Hunter said.
Hunter believes that she has become a better student since getting involved on campus.
"I feel like, because I'm here more often, I've done better in my classes," Hunter said. "Get involved and see the different opportunities the College has to offer, such as student assistant jobs. Look at me! I wouldn't even have a concentration had I not found this job."